Reality in the world of tick tock is that we may have been exposed too much on the high-end watches from covers of every other magazine to striking billboards along the highways. Truth however is that we actually know very little of them, well at least so for most of us ladies. But thankfully this is not the case with Julianna Aloresa Chai, managing director of Red Army Watches, “Classical is still there and they will never go out of style or time. For instance, Alexander Shorokhoff is as colourful as it gets along with the avant-garde design.”
For a moment there, I couldn’t take my eyes off Julianna’s watch, a Shorokhoff limited edition, sporting a good play of colours between its face and the peachy strap made of stingray – yes stingray!
As far as watch-fashion goes, bright and funky colours keep the wrists interesting while accessorised stones excite the upper timekeepers she explains. “Going back to the luxury version for ladies, they play about with different kind of stones, diamonds, sapphires and rubies,” adding that, “for the gents, skeleton watches are the in thing, where less is more.”
But more than just colour choices, watches today are mostly unisex with some appearing just as stunning in a single hue. “Some would ask, is this a feminine watch, and is this a male watch?” And of the contemporary designs by Seven Friday, Juliana says, “The white caters to women for its simplicity and femininity, and the black has a slightly masculine character for men.”
While we attempt to distinguish the gender of wristwatches in a world where it’s just as difficult to identify the fairer sex from her K-Pop powdered boys, 29-year-old Pahang lass Gan Hui Xin has gone on to establish a watch business right from what began as only a hobby. For her, it’s all about being trendy, affordable and unique. Her pride thus far is the best seller Mini, not the car but a popular handmade watch from Korea.
“Mini is our customer’s all-time favourite watch. We cater to teenagers at first, then implemented the design towards young adults and now, we have the kids collection with smaller straps too,” she says.
This little timepiece catches your attention with its cool 3D concept instilled with polymer clays embodying of dresses, birds and cute details like the Eiffel Tower. The sub-model of Mini, Soda, is also trending hot for the ladies. It leans towards the formal appeal with Swarovski elements surrounding it.
Hailed from a financial analyst background, this enterprising woman continues to expand her horizons by bringing in the best-selling Flent and China’s favourite Goer. Price ranges from RM60 to RM200 depending on the design, model and series.
Go big, or go home
And depending on your preference for size, colour and style too, Hirsh by Red Army Watches can be your favourite flexible wear. It adapts by allowing you to customise the straps to invoke a fresh look to existing watches.
“We noticed the nylon straps work as a good colour play to suit one’s clothing or mood. It can suit any other series too, not just from the Hirsh range,” Aloresa explains. She also cites size as a determinant these days, “I used to wear smaller watches like you, but once I started wearing the big ones, the small ones just appeared too small on me!
“It’s true what they say, once you go big, you’ll never go small!” she giggles.
But regardless if they are big, small, pink or blue, the easy-going Aloresa was confident to associate watches to one’s lifestyle, “It’s like a shout out of ‘I’m this type of person’ and the design plays a big role too.
“Reason to that, it’s on your wrist and you’ll be looking at it most of the time, and if you don’t like it, it’s not you.”
Endowed naturally to be a fashion wear rather than its original intent of telling time like that of an atomic clock used to set the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), watches today are fashion statements like the shades of Aviator. And if once the precious timekeeping trade originates only from the hands of Swiss master craftsmen, today they are smarting out of the circuit boards of Pebble and Apple.
“I don’t see the Apple watch as a threat to the traditional watches, especially the high-end mechanical timepieces as they are made to last, but not smart watches.”
Red Army Watches caters to an extensive profile of customers, from young to senior citizens where the market and demand for it is niche with prices from RM5,000 to the price of a house. Customers are mostly intrigued by the craftsmanship of the overall look and feel. ◆